The founding of Phi Kappa Psi nationally was in distinct contrast to the founding of most other fraternities of the time. Those groups grew, for the most part, from local clubs, formed without any idea of expansion. Phi Kappa Psi was founded as a national fraternity which would assemble within its folds the best men at outstanding colleges throughout the country.
Over 150 years ago, the Fraternity’s founders, William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore, were attending Jefferson College in the western Pennsylvania town of Canonsburg. An epidemic of influenza had struck the campus, and Letterman and Moore spent many long night vigils nursing and watching over their stricken friends. From these humanitarian efforts, an appreciation of the great joy of serving others came into their lives. Calling a number of others to join them in an association to promote service, scholarship and leadership, a Brotherhood was founded on February 19, 1852. It grew, survived and gradually spread among college men of the country.
Since 1852, Phi Kappa Psi has granted over 140 charters to college and university chapters and initiated over 120,000 members. Today, 104 chapters and colonies are active in promoting the Phi Kappa Psi experience. The Ohio Lambda Chapter was founded in 1972.